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The garden of Eden

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Was The Garden of Eden in Missouri? by Sandra Tanner .When Christians hear Mormons refer to the Garden of Eden they may incorrectly assume that the LDS believe it was by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Joseph Smith, however, claimed by revelation that the Garden of Eden was in western Missouri. This would throw off the entire first part of Genesis. Noah would have left in the ark from Missouri and sailed to some location in the Middle East. LDS Apostle John A. Widtsoe explained: "Latter-day Saints know, through modern revelation, that the Garden of Eden was on the North American continent and that Adam and Eve began their conquest of the earth in the upper part of what is now the state of Missouri. It seems very probable that the children of our first earthly parents moved down along the fertile, pleasant lands of the Mississippi valley." (John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, three volumes in one, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft 1960, p.127) (click to enlarge) Map from My Kingdom Shall Roll Forth, Reading in Church History, p.2, 1980. published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie gives this information about the location of the Garden of Eden:

ADAM-ONDI-AHMAN Adam was the first man of all men; Ahman is one of the names by which God was known to Adam. Adam-ondi-Ahman, a name carried over from the pure Adamic language into English, is one for which we have not been given a revealed, literal translation. As near as we can judge -- and this view comes down from the early brethren who associated with the Prophet Joseph Smith, who was the first one to use the name in this dispensation -- Adam-ondi-Ahman means the place or land of God where Adam dwelt.  Apparently the area included was a large one; at least, the revelations speak of the land, the valley, and the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman. They tell us that Christ himself "established the foundations of Adam-ondi-Ahman" (D. & C. 78:15-16), and that it included the place now known as Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. (D. & C. 116.) Far West, Missouri, also appears to be included in the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman. On April 17, 1838, the Lord commanded his saints to assemble at Far West, which place, he said, was holy ground; and there they were to build a city. (D. & C. 115.) By July 8 of that year, William Marks and Newel K. Whitney had not left their temporal concerns in Kirtland, Ohio, and were not assembling with the saints coming to Zion. In rebuking them the Lord said this: "Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters? Therefore, come up hither unto the land of my people, even Zion." William Marks was told that he was to "preside in the midst of my people in the city of Far West," and Newel K. Whitney was told to "come up to the land of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and be a bishop unto my people." (D. & C. 117.) The early brethren of this dispensation taught that the Garden of Eden was located in what is known to us as the land of Zion, an area for which Jackson County, Missouri, is the center place. In our popular Latter-day Saint hymn which begins, "Glorious things are sung of Zion, Enoch's city seen of old," we find William W. Phelps preserving the doctrine that "In Adam-ondi-Ahman, Zion rose where Eden was."... One of the greatest spiritual gatherings of all the ages took place in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman some 5,000 years ago, and another gathering -- of even greater importance relative to this earth's destiny -- is soon to take place in that same location. Our revelations recite: "Three years previous to the death of Adam, he called Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, and Methuselah who were all high priests, with the residue of his posterity who were righteous, into the valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman and there bestowed upon them his last blessing. "And the Lord appeared unto them, and they rose up and blessed Adam, and called him Michael, the prince, the archangel. And the Lord administered comfort unto Adam, and said unto him: I have set thee to be at the head; a multitude of nations shall come of thee, and thou art a prince over them forever. And Adam stood up in the midst of the congregation; and, notwithstanding he was bowed down with age, being fill of the Holy Ghost, predicted whatsoever should befall his posterity unto the latest generation." (D. & C. 107:53-56.) (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p.19-20) Apostle McConkie went on to explain that Joseph Smith had even identified an altar in Missouri as one built by Adam: At that great gathering Adam offered sacrifices on an altar built for the purpose. A remnant of that very altar remained on the spot down through the ages. On May 19, 1838, Joseph Smith and a number of his associates stood on the remainder of the pile of stones at a place called Spring Hill, Daviess County, Missouri. There the Prophet taught them that Adam again would visit in the Valley of Adam-ondi-Ahman, holding a great council as a prelude to the great and dreadful day of the Lord. (Mediation and Atonement pp. 69-70.) At this council, all who have held keys of authority will give an accounting of their stewardship to Adam. Christ will then come, receive back the keys, and thus take one of the final steps preparatory to reigning personally upon the earth. (Dan. 7:9-14; Teachings, p. 157.) (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p.21) LDS Apostle John A. Widtsoe gave these comments about the Garden of Eden: Later, the Prophet designated "Spring Hill," a hill of eminence about fifty or sixty miles north and somewhat to the east of Independence, as Adam-ondi-Ahman, . . . the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the prophet." (D. & C. 116) . . . Since Adam called together seven generations of his descendants at Adam-ondi-Ahman, it can well be believed that there was his old homestead. If so, the Garden of Eden was probably not far distant, for it was the entrance at the east of the Garden which was closed against them at the time of the "fall." (Genesis 3:24) In fact, it has been commonly understood among the Latter-day Saints, from the teachings of the Prophet, that the temple was to be built in or near the location of the Garden of Eden. That the Prophet actually taught that the Garden of Eden was in or near Independence, Missouri, is amply testified to by many who knew and heard him. Heber C. Kimball, close associate and friend of the Prophet, said on one occasion: The spot chosen for the Garden of Eden was Jackson County, in the state of Missouri, where Independence now stands; it was occupied in the morn of creation by Adam and his associates, who came with him for the express purpose of peopling this earth. (Journal of Discourses, 10:235)   Brigham Young, also a close associate of the Prophet, testified similarly: In the beginning, after this earth was prepared for man, the Lord commenced his work upon what is now called the American continent, where the Garden of Eden was made. In the days of Noah, in the days of the Boating of the ark, he took the people to another part of the earth. (Discourses, p. 102) In conversation with Orson Hyde, on March 15, 1857, President Young said: You have been both to Jerusalem and Zion, and seen both. I have not seen either, for I have never been in Jackson County. Now it is a pleasant thing to think of and to know where the Garden of Eden was. Did you ever think of it? I do not think many do, for in Jackson County was the Garden of Eden. Joseph has declared this, and I am as much bound to believe that as to believe that Joseph was a prophet of God. (Journal History, March 15, 1857) That is the position of the Latter-day Saints today, with respect to the much-discussed location of the Garden of Eden. Adam, after his expulsion from the Garden of Eden, lived in the vicinity of the great Missouri and Mississippi rivers. As his descendants multiplied, they would naturally settle along the fertile and climatically acceptable river valleys. When the flood came in the days of Noah, the Mississippi drainage must have increased to a tremendous volume, quite in harmony with the Biblical account. Noah's ark would be floated on the mighty, rushing waters, towards the Gulf of Mexico. With favorable winds, it would cross the Atlantic to the Eastern continents. There the human race, in its second start on earth, began to multiply and fill the earth. The location of the Garden of Eden in America, and at Independence, Missouri, clears up many a problem which the Bible account of Eden and its garden has left in the minds of students. (Evidences and Reconciliations, by John A. Widtsoe, p.395 -397) However, there is nothing in the book of Genesis to indicate that the first eight chapters of the story happened in North America.

You are right when you write at the end of your article that there is nothing in the first 8 chapter of Genesis, but I guess you should accept that at the beginning when there was the garden of Eden the earth had a different shape, I mean like continents. Example, there was a flood that surely changed all the configuration of mother earth, or not? It is hard to maintain that the rivers after the flood should remain in the same course, because they were submersed. Do you really believe that after about 320 days when the waters were dried, the scenario was the same like before? You can maintain that but surely I won't buy that. After a while the continents were divided according Genesis 10:25 and also genesis 1:9. I guess there were something like earthquakes to do that or you believe that happened without any problem? It could be, but could have been different. Surely in any way the face of the earth was so changed that probably what you are referring now is something completely different. You could say that there is the name of Euphrates and Tigris, but they are starting from the garden of Eden and we don't know how long they were at that particular time, because the face of the earth was completely changed from the flood and the division of the earth. So my friend you are right in the first 8 chapters of Genesis there is not what you are looking for, but there is a bunch of stuff, speaking surely about another geography, or not?

Another interesting thing is the meaning of Adam ondi Ahman. Many people are still trying to find the real meaning of this 3 words.  Well the more intriguing or plausible, on my personal opinion is this: Adam through the Son.

Adam, sure is the name of our first father, Ahman we know for sure by D&A was the name of Jesus in the premortal life., so the real meaning, SHOULD be: the mankind will go from Adam through the Atonement of the Son again in the presence of the Lord in the Garden of Eden. For that reason that place had the name and for that particular reason Daniel saw in a vision where the ancient of days will present to the Son of Man the mankind to be judged in Daniel 7.

Many times the critics don't keep on mind that the scenario during the time is different from when the fact was written and now, for example they demand to find archeological evidence for the book of Mormon but they don't keep on mind that according the same book of Mormon, at the time of the resurrection of Jesus there were earthquakes and cataclysm that destroyed many cities in this continent and there were submersed cities too. Further in this continent we don't have a lot history written, like in Europe and Asia. Many places in the old world was possible to be identified  by books or documents, but here, aside the book of Mormon, there are not documents and the history of these people is still unknown. For example, in Egypt people are digging from centuries in a very small area, but still many things are not discovered. In this continent, I mean the Americas,  the area is so huge, no documents, or at least very few, no written history, only oral tradition and the research surely begun later with a lot more difficulties and a lesser interest at the beginning.

Another interesting thing is here in Genesis 2:10 it says:" A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. According to verse 13, one of these subsidiaries encircled Ethiopia; another subsidiary of that same river encircled Assyria, according to verse 14. Ethipia and Assyria are on two deparate continentes, farther apat that New York and Chicago. They are divided by thousands of miles of Ocean and desert, with NO RIVER joning the two, unless there was just ONE continent at that time, like the Bible explain, so after the division of the continents thinking to locate Eden according to OUR Geography is totally stupid.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 09:10  

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